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  1. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Most View Post
    Judging by some of these comments, it's somehow strangely reassuring that many posters on RedUser clearly still live in an alternate universe in which everything is solely dependent on Moore's Law and computing power. And in which resolution is everything. And in which everything is "simple" and cheap. However, that is not the real world of large tentpole features, in which every shot of every picture goes through a myriad number of approval steps, and in which any of those involved can cause a shot to be redone. And in which movies have release dates that must be met, which means that shots that involve 600 elements and take upwards of 20 hours per frame to render (and that's just for the composite - and that's at 2K.....) must be approved and cut back in to the picture prior to the delivery. If one hasn't been involved with productions of that scale, it is next to impossible to really understand just how much is required to pull these things off.

    The reason there is apparently little motivation for going to 4K for VFX deliveries is because there is little additional return for doing so. There is no evidence that Infinity War would have had larger box office than it did had the picture been finished at a higher resolution. Or that Wonder Woman would have been either better or more financially successful if it had been done 4K end to end. If you want that to change - for whatever your reason is - you need to demonstrate what exactly the studio would gain by doing that. Because at this point in time, it would lose a lot (like a timely release date). And gain almost nothing, because the only complaints about quality in these pictures are on Internet forums like RedUser. Joe Public has no problem with it.
    VFX in Justice league was disturbingly bad, where in Infinity War, I wasn't disturbed by bad VFX(it might have been very good, haven't watched it that closely),
    both having Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format).

    2K can be pretty good (as shown in infinity war) and it can also be crap(as shown at the beginning of justice league), both movies having a hugh budget.
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  2. #22  
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    The believability of VFX shots has nothing to do with the delivery resolution and everything to do with the VFX Supervisor, the VFX Producer, the Director, and everyone involved in conceiving, executing, and approving them. Delivering them at 2K only serves to make their completion on a typical post schedule possible. If one wants a better explanation as to why Marvel Studios productions have such high quality VFX work, one should look at the supervisors they hire, the directors they hire, and perhaps most of all, at the people who run the company (most notably in this case Victoria Alonso, one of the three executives who run the company and a former visual effects producer).
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  3. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Gleeson View Post
    Mike,

    I agree and I'm not sure everyone understands the sheer number of VFX shots and the multilayered. multi pass, processing intensive nature of many of the shots. As computer technology moves forward and with some amazingly powerful GPUs coming into the market how long do you think before a 4K finish becomes a commercial proposition? Is it a correct assumption that a 4K render will take four times longer than a 2K render?
    Basically, yes. But there is a lot more to doing this than simply "upping the numbers." Higher resolutions require much more attention to detail on every level, including texture maps, matte paintings, CG model detail, lighting, rendering quality, rotoscoping, and the many, many other steps required to create a high end, deeply layered VFX shot. That attention to detail must come from the artists and their supervisors, not just from the software they use. That time cannot easliy be quantified.
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  4. #24  
    Senior Member Tom Gleeson's Avatar
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    Mike,

    So in your opinion the heavy VFX movies will stay in 2K for the foreseeable future? Interesting times as lower budget (non VFX) productions can more easily supply 4K masters while the biggest productions cannot. Bring on Quantum computing. I would like to add the VFX material is not created with a camera therefore it is not negatively impacted by optics and the camera recording process and often it can be "perceived" as higher resolution than the equivalent camera footage. On a science fiction show I worked on we ended up adding some softening and noise/grain to the 2K VFX shots to match our anamorphic captured camera footage. Is it Netflix that will allow 2K VFX shots to be uprezzed into a 4K production? Unsure how they allocate this especially in productions where there is a VFX element in a high proportion of shots. Umbrella Academy on Netflix is 4K and season one is nearly 10 hours worth of reasonably high VFX content. Does anyone know how they do it?
    Tom Gleeson
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  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by M Most View Post
    J And in which movies have release dates that must be met, which means that shots that involve 600 elements and take upwards of 20 hours per frame to render (and that's just for the composite - and that's at 2K.....) must be approved and cut back in to the picture prior to the delivery.
    I don't doubt that you describe this in a realistic way, but when software takes 20 hours per frame on today's workstations with dozens and dozens of CPUs and then when someone wants a change it starts all over again, the whole system is hopelessly ineffectively designed and implemented for its intended use of creating high quality and high res computer graphics and digital opticals in a interactive feedback based evolutionary way. HW, SW and work organisation.
    The reason there is apparently little motivation for going to 4K for VFX deliveries is because there is little additional return for doing so. There is no evidence that Infinity War would have had larger box office than it did had the picture been finished at a higher resolution. Or that Wonder Woman would have been either better or more financially successful if it had been done 4K end to end. If you want that to change - for whatever your reason is - you need to demonstrate what exactly the studio would gain by doing that. Because at this point in time, it would lose a lot (like a timely release date). And gain almost nothing, because the only complaints about quality in these pictures are on Internet forums like RedUser. Joe Public has no problem with it.
    Michel Hafner
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  6. #26  
    Something will change in post soon. As of now its very much a lowest bidder kind of game and for the big films it a huge chance the VFX house that did the job is going belly up right after. Its not really a sustainable way of working but a very good sign its a industry that is in a rapid change so I very much think we will se different strategies for post soon.

    Higher resolution on final render is if its done right not too difficult. But today all the apps are not really bult for it setups does not scale correct and people does simply not know how to do it. But its something very possible already today.

    Even if the VFX shots are done in 2k, and even if most clips are VFX clips I find it quite easy to render out a 4k master from that where final treatment is done in 4k. Some stuff as simple as not adding noise before scaling it up will make it look tons better than 2k output of a 4k project or display.

    Also Graphics and lot of other bits can be rendered in 4k no problem and lot of VFX shots could easy be done in 4k and keeping a mixed resolution and mixed format final timeline is not a problem these days.

    But I think normally people in big feature post are death scared to bring on any kind of extra cost as usually they simply do not make bank anyway so they take all the precautions they can, 2k digital intermediate is one of those precautions.
    Björn Benckert
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  7. #27  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Not arguing with Mike or Björn about the existing situation, it is a lowest bidder environment. Moreover, I agree that resolution is not the key metric in determining the effectiveness of VFX work. I still think we will see 4K and even 8K DCPs with 4k and 8K VFX down the road. That said, I do get the point that it's not a priority and could be a decade away.

    Cheers - #19
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  8. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Hafner View Post
    I don't doubt that you describe this in a realistic way, but when software takes 20 hours per frame on today's workstations with dozens and dozens of CPUs and then when someone wants a change it starts all over again, the whole system is hopelessly ineffectively designed and implemented for its intended use of creating high quality and high res computer graphics and digital opticals in a interactive feedback based evolutionary way. HW, SW and work organisation.
    How much of this kind of work have you been involved with that you feel qualified to make such statements? Or are you simply saying what you "think" is reality? And what makes you think that those involved in creating infrastructures and workflows for the larger VFX houses are somehow incompetent or unaware of how to optimize hardware, software, and systems for the tasks required?

    It's fairly obvious who those are in this thread that have actually had some experience in the area we're talking about and who those are that haven't. Criticizing is easy. Understanding why studios that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the pictures they produce make the decisions they make requires a bit of practical experience. There are good reasons for things being done the way they are, whether those here understand those reasons or not.
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  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by Blair S. Paulsen View Post
    Not arguing with Mike or Björn about the existing situation, it is a lowest bidder environment. Moreover, I agree that resolution is not the key metric in determining the effectiveness of VFX work. I still think we will see 4K and even 8K DCPs with 4k and 8K VFX down the road. That said, I do get the point that it's not a priority and could be a decade away.

    Cheers - #19
    We did 10 episodes x 40min drama 7k to UHD that we finnished a year a go and we are a little post boutique with just a few people, and we did it just to see if we could. It was, at first, actually not asked for by production and broadcaster, even though that very much changed during the process. So if we could do it yesterday I'm sure Hollywood can manage in a couple of years time... :)

    Joking of course, as what we did was not something CG heavy like Rampage or similar Hollywood blockbusters. But still I'm sure lot a films could have be bumped out in 4k no problem if people just learned how to do it right.
    It's really nuts how some shows and films actually go trough post and I'm sad to say but lot of it is just due to poor knowledge and peoples fear to change their routines and as film making is a collaborative process that involve lot of different entities all changes are naturally slow.

    The smaller the team the easier it is to change the routines and adapt to new ways of working. Hollywood is not about small teams so they adapt slower, but I'm sure good resolution an staying atleast 4k trough post will be a standard quite soon.

    I'm happy to have 4k laser projector at home and I actually have not been to the movies since I got it. And I think now there is lots of people getting better projectors, big Oleds that also get their 4k apple TV and 4k subscription for Netflix etc. And they very much see the bump in quality and appreciate it. And thats when looking at todays content mostly shot on cameras that did not quite hold up.
    Björn Benckert
    Creative Lead & Founder Syndicate Entertainment AB
    +46855524900 www.syndicate.se
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  10. #30  
    Senior Member Patrick Tresch's Avatar
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    I’m happy to shoot a lot of low budget films and docus where vfx are not the norm. I’m mastering all my films on 4K since 2012. They went to Cannes directors forthnight, Locarno, Tiff, and seen around the world. Happy to master all my films in small shops where I can give my input in the post workflow. Bigger studios have more problems to change their standards which they often believe to be the industry standard.
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